I came into the city via overnight bus, and that evening I would be leaving on another one. This was to be my last day in Turkey and also my final chance to wrap up anything that I missed the first time. Problem was though that I couldn’t summon the will to move. It wasn’t exhaustion, or even a lack of interest in the remainder of Istanbul, but being so on the move left me in need of a travel vacation. Think about it though, when you are at home, you don’t go sightseeing and to museums nor sleep on so many overnight buses, you relax and do a few things. For a longer trip like this, I really need to allot myself the occasional day of lessened itinerary expectations. I did manage to get to a mosque that doubled as a mausoleum for several members of the royal family.
I was deeply invested in my sloth when from behind I heard “ジャスティン!”. It was those same three Japanese stalkers again, unbelievably. It was their last day in the country as well, but their being a trip of only one week meant they had the energy to go to the Grand Bazaar for souvenirs. I had stopped in there briefly before, but I figured that I could stand walking around with them. So off we went together. This was our fourth day together and things had begun to get chummy.
We spent a very long time at the bazaar, as they hunted for just the right keychains to give to all of their friends. I certainly wasn’t going to be buying anything, not only because I have no desire to carry it with me f another few months, but also because my tight budget wouldn’t allow for it. I just spent the time making foolish suggestions about what they should get and also coached them on how to haggle.
After we said goodbye for what had to be the last time, I marched over to the train station to get myself out of here. Until the Bulgarian border I would be traveling by bus, as when I came. When I bought my ticket, the only two places that I could go were Sofia and Bucharest. While I had said I would be spending more time in Bulgaria, I didn’t want to go back to the capitol. Though I would have liked to spend a day or two on the Black Sea, I bailed on that in favor of a more tangible difference in culture and to take the Bucharest option instead. I was genuinely excited to be in Romania, because it was dissimilar to what I had seen so far, and offered tourism beyond churches, monasteries and expanses of nothing. It was decided, so off I went.
I passed out for much of the bus ride, and then again after making the train transfer. There were two guys from the UK in my couchette but they got off well before myself, leaving me with plenty of time alone to stare out the window at the scenery. Endless expanses of agriculture was all there was, sunflowers in this case.
After a while, we crossed the Danube River which meant that we had arrived in Romania. The trip took twenty hours, but I love sleeping on trains and having time to relax while en route to somewhere new.
While on the train, I had a chance to look at my growing assortment of coins. Certainly by the end of this trip I am going to be so lost as to the values, and even the countries where they can be used.